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Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council Arms Agencies with Tools Needed to Strengthen Infrastructure Permitting

Agency Issues Basic Order Agreement to Simplify the Hiring Process for Experts 

Contact Information
Permitting Council Press Office (

WASHINGTON (September 1, 2022)- This week the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council (Permitting Council), in coordination with the General Services Administration (GSA), issued a Basic Order Agreement (BOA) to seven contracting companies in support of infrastructure permitting. With this Federal contracting tool, Federal agencies will have access to industry experts that can assist in fulfilling the increase in infrastructure projects coming down the pipeline as a result of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).

“The passage of the BIL and the President’s charge to agencies in his Permitting Action Plan set into motion an ambitious yet fully achievable plan to transform this nation’s infrastructure,” says Christine Harada, Executive Director of the Permitting Council. “And, in order to realize this once-in-a-generation investment, we first need to equip our Federal agencies with the tools they need to strengthen the environmental review and permitting process. The issuance of this Basic Order Agreement does just that for our Permitting Council agencies.”

Federal agencies involved in the environmental review and permitting process have long expressed difficulties in obtaining the contracting expertise needed for strengthening the permitting process. Agencies often need a range of expertise, from experts in the implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), to skilled public involvement coordinators, to academics in order to effectively move a project through the review process. GSA’s Basic Order Agreement is a resource tool for expediting contracting for certain government needs. In terms of the infrastructure permitting process, the BOA will serve as a marketplace of GSA-approved vendors that offer a wide variety of environmental review and permitting-related services upon which Federal agencies can draw to support the increase in FAST-41 covered infrastructure projects after the passage of the BIL.

Selected BOA contractors include a wide range of expertise, from engineers to environmental consultants, with a variety of company types represented, including women-owned small businesses:

For more information on contracting opportunities, visit the GSA website.

About the Permitting Council

Established in 2015 by Title 41 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST-41), the Permitting Council is a unique Federal agency charged with improving the transparency and predictability of the Federal environmental review and authorization process for certain critical infrastructure projects. The Permitting Council is comprised of the Permitting Council Executive Director, who serves as the Council Chair; 13 Federal agency Council members (including deputy secretary-level designees of the Secretaries of Agriculture, Army, Commerce, Interior, Energy, Transportation, Defense, Homeland Security, and Housing and Urban Development, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Chairs of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation); and the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

The Permitting Council coordinates Federal environmental reviews and authorizations for projects that seek and qualify for FAST-41 coverage. FAST-41 covered projects are entitled to comprehensive permitting timetables and transparent, collaborative management of those timetables on the Federal Permitting Dashboard. FAST-41 covered projects may be in the renewable or conventional energy production, electricity transmission, surface transportation, aviation, ports and waterways, water resource, broadband, pipelines, manufacturing, mining, carbon capture, semiconductors, artificial intelligence and machine learning, high-performance computing and advanced computer hardware and software, quantum information science and technology, data storage and data management, and cybersecurity sectors. 



Last updated: Thursday, September 1, 2022